Farmer, retired chemist, antique car enthusiast, active Christian . . . are just a few good descriptive words for Harold Hammett. Known as “Hambone” by his classmates, Hammett graduated from the Academy at the ripe old age of 15 in 1925. He chuckles as he remembers that his father “had to pay $25.00 a month to keep me in school.” In addition to no smoking, no chewing, and no profanity, Hammett recalls another restriction, “Students were only allowed to receive so many letters each month, and they were only allowed to correspond with those persons approved by their parents – the mail was censored accordingly.”
Hammett continued his education at Furman where he graduated cum laude in 1929 with a major in chemistry. That same year, experiencing firsthand the effects of the Great Depression and the stock market collapse, his first job paid 50 cents a day. “A pair of shoes was $1.00 and $2.00 bought all the groceries you could carry.”
Hammett devoted his active work years to local industry and farming. Since retiring from Texize in 1973, he has devoted all his time to cattle farming and antique car collecting. Referring to his avid interest in old cars, he says that “it is a sad, incurable disease, like golf and fishing.” His favorite is a 1916 T-Model Ford which he found in Wisconsin.
Hammett’ son-in-law and NGC’s Director of Admissions, Mayson Easterling, describes him as “an ideal alumnus.” “He stands by North Greenville consistently, contributing something every year.” A good example of his continuing support are the bushels upon bushels of apples he provides each year to be given away at the NGC exhibit during the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
Appreciative of his education, Hammett remarks, “In the old days, North Greenville provided me an opportunity for an education that I might not otherwise have received. We should all do our part to help North Greenville provide the same opportunities for the students of today.”
Article printed in the October 1980 issue of the North Greenville College Alumni Newsletter.